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Copper inventories

The beginning of 2012 brought a moderate increase in copper inventories on LME, COMEX and Shanghai exchanges and a considerable increase in the volume of copper stored in unofficial Chinese duty-free warehouses.


Increased demand in the second quarter of the year reduced the level of inventories, both of the exchanges and those stored in unofficial warehouses. In the second part of the year, the trend reversed and copper inventories of the LME, Comex and Shanghai exchanges and inventories in unofficial duty-free warehouses began to grow again.


The total volume of inventories in official exchange warehouses was relatively stable and, at the end of last year, amounted to 589 thousand tonnes. At the end of 2012, most of the official inventories were found in the LME warehouses (54% of total inventories), while 35% were controlled by the Shanghai exchange and 11% by the American COMEX exchange. The end-of-year volume of unofficial copper inventories in Chinese warehouses was estimated at approximately 700 to 900 thousand tonnes, a growth by some 500 thousand tonnes as of the beginning of the year.



Copper warehouse inventories, 2001–2012


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